Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Food Industry

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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903. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to deal with the surplus of potatoes here which are only suitable for processing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6628/20]

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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The majority of the potatoes grown in Ireland are produced for supply to the fresh retail market.

I am fully aware of the challenges posed by the closure of the food services sector, however it is well established that there has been particularly strong demand for potatoes at retail level in recent months. It is hoped that, in line with the Government’s Roadmap for “Reopening Society and Business”, demand will increase for potatoes in the catering and processing sectors also and there is some evidence of this already.

Of course, to address the particular challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government, in conjunction with relevant state agencies, has introduced a range of measures to aid businesses that may be suffering short term financial problems. Bord Bia has also introduced a range of options to aid the horticulture sector. These range from financial support in the form of grants, to training and advice on how best to sustain businesses during this pandemic. There is a particular emphasis in these supports on opportunities to develop different markets, including through online sales.

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